ACADIA NATIONAL PARK – Most visitors to Acadia national park come for the beauty, but some are leaving a trail of destruction.
There have been three illegal back country campsites found at Acadia National Park in the last two weeks.
The last one started a fire Friday that burned half an acre of land.
According to National Park Service Spokesperson Christie Anastasia, those illegal campsites are dangerous for multiple reasons.
“There are lots of trees surrounding the area, you’re in an area that’s not maintained for camping, and no one knows you’re there so you could inadvertently become a victim of your own campfire that became a wildfire,” Anastasia said.
No camping is allowed in Acadia National Park except at their designated campgrounds.
She said that is the only place open fires are allowed for a variety of reasons.
“It’s easier to see because you’re not surrounded by woods. There’s often water in the area and folks will often times have a shovel or water next to their campsite. If the fire department does need come, it’s really easy to get them to the location and get the equipment there to put the fire out,” Anastasia said.
She said even a small breeze can turn a little fire into a big one and it could put the community in danger if it spread outside of the park boundaries.
“We have lots of people who live on this island year-round and call this island home and we have lots of summer residents who are here this time of year. It would be very scary and require a lot of logistics and coordination to keep people safe,” Anastasia said.
She also said there are precautions visitors can take to avoid problems.
“Keep a shovel nearby if you can, keep a bucket of water nearby if you can and absolutely don’t leave anything unattended. No fires, no embers, make sure it’s completely out,” Anastasia said.